Jelly Bean and Ice Cream Sandwich: Gingerbread, you are toast!

Just as I predicted in early-February, combined, the new sweets on the block -- Jelly Bean and Ice Cream Sandwich -- surpassed the mighty Gingerbread in the Android distribution charts for early-March. Based on the number of devices accessing Google Play during the 14 days ending March 4, Gingerbread is still the most popular green droid iteration.

Almost four months after Google released Android 4.2, the latest treat in the candy jar has reached a 1.6 percent distribution level. The second Jelly Bean iteration continues to grow, if only slightly, by another 0.2 percentage points from 1.4 percent distribution level in early-February. The difference translates into a 14.28 percent increase over the course of a single month.

A month ago, I called the same 0.2 percentage points growth (over the early-January numbers) a near-stagnant increase caused by stock issues and limited worldwide availability of Google Nexus devices. In March that is, however, no longer the main problem, as the lack of software upgrades for other popular devices plays a more significant part in the whole picture.

The first Jelly Bean iteration has reached a 14.9 percent distribution level in early-March, a number 2.7 percentage points higher compared to the previous data set which placed it at 12.2 percent distribution. The 22.13 percent increase can be attributed to sales of new smartphones and tablets as well as software upgrades. As with the second Jelly Bean iteration, Android 4.1's growth is slightly lower month-over-month and, judging by previous data sets, the trend will continue in upcoming months.

The first member of the Android 4.x family, Ice Cream Sandwich (version 4.0.3 to 4.0.4), now runs of 28.6 percent of all green droid devices. Android 4.0 continues its descending popularity trend which started a month before, losing 0.4 percentage points in the process from the 29 percent distribution in early-February. The difference represents a slight 1.37 percent decrease and can be attributed to sales of new devices which skip Ice Cream Sandwich altogether as well as software upgrades to the newer sweets in the family.

The tablet-only Honeycomb has reached a distribution level of 1.2 percent, losing 0.1 percentage points since early-February when it managed a 1.5 percent distribution level. The difference translates into a 7.69 percent drop. Honeycomb version 3.1 and 3.2 run on 0.3 percent and 0.9 percent, respectively, of all green droid devices.

The mighty Gingerbread still runs on 44.2 percent of all Android devices, with versions 2.3 to 2.3.2 and 2.3.3 to 2.3.7 amounting to a 0.2 percent and a 44 percent, respectively, distribution level. Gingerbread has lost 1.4 percentage points compared to the previous data set which placed the older operating system at 45.6 percent distribution level. The difference translates into a 3.07 percent decrease.

For green droid iterations before Gingerbread's time it's all downhill. Froyo, Eclair and Donut have reached a distribution level of 7.6 percent, 1.9 percent and 0.2 percent, respectively. The three combined run on 9.7 percent of all Android devices, 0.8 percentage points lower compared to the previous data set which translates into a 7.61 percent decrease.

Jelly Bean and Ice Cream Sandwich, even though the latter continues to lose distribution share, have dethroned Gingerbread thanks to a combined 45.1 percent distribution level. The historical data set points out that Jelly Bean will continue to grow over the next couple of months, and help sustain the dominance of newer Android iterations over the older Gingerbread.

Photo Credit: Bobby Scrivener/Shutterstock

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